Save the date! Be informed! The Virginia Department of Energy announced the next, and Fifth Meeting of State Agency Component of Work Group of the HB2213 Gold Mining Study. It will be:

June 23, 2022, 9 am to Noon on line and at the
Buckingham County Community Center
16268 N James Madison Hwy
Dillwyn VA 23936

Join from the Webex meeting link:
Join by meeting number
Meeting number (access code): 2435 928 1489
Meeting password: 8k7nY9hc9WV

9:00-9:15             Welcome and Introductions                    Skiffington/Work Group
9:15-9:30             Background information              Skiffington/NAS
9:30-10:15           Aaron Mintzes, J.D.                                                                     
10:15-11:00         Stu Levit, M.S., J.D.
11:00-11:45         Dr. Ann Maest                                                                                       
11:45-12:00         Public Comment
12:00                   Adjourn

And then please submit written comments soon! to the State Agencies Town Hall & the National Academies of Sciences. Scroll for more info.

Bios of our illustrious speakers:

These are some of the experts we (the Virginia gold coalition) nominated to be on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) gold study committee. No one from our list was accepted. Read their bios and see why we thought they ought to be. We have asked the NAS to please listen to their input now.

Aaron Mintzes, J.D. serves as Senior Policy Counsel for Earthworks, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of mineral development. Aaron’s work focuses on policies and projects, at all levels of government, specifically related to hardrock mining. Based in Washington, D.C., he provides technical advice to Congress, local, state, and federal agencies on minerals policy, and routinely counsels communities impacted by extraction.

In addition, Aaron has both staffed and served on Federal Advisory Committees chartered to advise the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and other agencies on mining. Aaron received his B.A. from Vassar College and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
Phone: 919-302-6393 Email:

Stuart M. Levit, M.S., J.D. is a staff scientist with The Center for Science in Public Participation (CSP2).  He has focused on mine reclamation/rehabilitation and cleanup issues, permitting and planning, NEPA and related processes.

Stu earned his Masters degree in Land Restoration from Montana State University and received his law degree from Montana State University.  He works on mining and related rehabilitation issues worldwide.

Stu worked for the Montana Department of State Lands, Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau, as a Land Reclamation Specialist where he assessed mine site problems and designed mine reclamation project plans.

After completing law school, he was a clerk for the Montana Supreme Court. He then worked as the water quality program Project Coordinator for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, and for over twenty years he has focused on environmental and natural resource issues with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Pablo, Montana.

Dr. Ann Maest is Vice President of Buka Environmental in Boulder, Colorado, and Chief Scientist for E-Tech International, a nonprofit organization working on environmental monitoring and capacity building in Latin America. Dr. Maest is an aqueous geochemist who specializes in the environmental effects of hardrock mining, baseline water quality evaluations, water quality predictions for hardrock mines, and geochemical modeling and characterization methods. Ann provides training to governmental agencies and communities on Environmental Impact Statement evaluation, environmental monitoring, the water quality effects of mining, and best practices.

After completing her PhD, Dr. Maest was a research geochemist in the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program, where she built and managed an analytical laboratory and conducted research on the geochemistry of surface water and groundwater systems. She has served on several U.S. National Academy of Sciences committees, including the Committee on Earth Resources which oversaw the 2012 report on Uranium Mining in Virginia, and their Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. Ann was an invited speaker on technical challenges and solutions for the mining sector at the United Nations. She holds an undergraduate degree in geology from Boston University and a PhD in geochemistry and water resources from Princeton University.

Submit comments please!

HB2213 Gold Mining Study calls for comments to be submitted to the State Agencies Town Hall & the National Academies of Sciences (NAS). We suggest that you make the same comments to both and ASAP, so they have plenty of time to factor in your comments.

  • NAS, is wrapping up their study in mid July, to prepare their report. Go to their gold mining page. In the upper right hand corner click on “Provide feedback…” Talking points are here.
  • Also! Please give your input before September 30 to the State Agencies Town Hall. For more info click here.

For more information – check out our gold mining page:

And this article with great comments via short videos:



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